21. Wedge Antilles
(Write-up by Joe Prescott, Dork Side of the Force Staff Writer)
We all know Luke Skywalker to be a great pilot, but the Rebel Alliance needed more than just the best bush pilot in the Outer Rim Territories to contend with the swarms of TIE Fighters shovelled out by the Empire. Cue the formation of Rogue Squadron, the elite team of pilots gathered by Luke and his wingman from the Battle of Yavin, Wedge Antilles. A Corellian pilot with natural piloting skills and a keen sense of tactical manoevures, Wedge would end up being present at every major battle between the Imperial and Rebel forcesand by doing so proved himself more than once to be a valuable asset to the Rebel Fleet. As previously stated he helped Luke with the Trench Run on the first Death Star, but he was also the only Rogue pilot to bring down an AT-AT during the Battle of Hoth, and finally flew with Lando into the second Death Star and helped destroy the main reactor. Truly a hero of the Rebellion and the galaxy.
Wedge has since appeared in several formats across the EU. He was a playable character in the Rogue Squadron video games, had a successful run of novels with the superb “X-Wing” series and regularly pops up in various sizes of action figures. A real fan favourite, it takes a lot to fly alongside Luke Skywalker. But Wedge was more than worthy enough it turned out, and as Luke was otherwise occupied with his own battle Wedge was commander of Red Squadron during the Battle of Endor, named in honour of the fighter squadron who went up against the first Death Star, and gave the quotable command to the Squadron “Lock S-Foils in Attack position”. The dogfights in Star Wars were always popular with the fans (tell me you didn’t enact the TIE attack on the Falcon when you were a kid!!) and cool-headed tactical pilots such as Wedge showed how a snubfighter could be flown in the right hands.
Denis Lawson was the actor to portray Wedge in all three episodes of the Original Trilogy, along with a “Fake Wedge” during the briefing before the Battle of Yavin, and would cause a stir of excitement whenever he was seen in the cockpit of a vessel. Turns out, Lawson would be further tied to the Saga as a family member would portray another important character in the Prequel Trilogy. Ewan McGregor is Lawson’s nephew, so the Force runs strong in their family!
Next: The Bounty Hunter O.G.